ECONOMY

Finance Ministry has started repaying state debts

The Greek state had already paid over 690 million euros of its debts to the private sector while the General State Accounting Office had channeled the repayment of more than 1.6 billion euros in total by the end of 2012, according to Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras (photo), who is overseeing the repayment of 10 billion euros owed by the state to the private sector.

The target that the ministry has set is for the coverage of debts of 3.5 billion euros in the first quarter of 2013, i.e. an additional 2 billion by end-March, although that will also depend on the disbursement of the bailout tranches scheduled for the year’s first three months.

“The implementation of the plan is proceeding with determination, hard work and the harmonious cooperation of all parties involved,” said Staikouras.

Debts already cleared concerned retirement lump sum payments to 1,200 pensioners (40 billion euros), the expired debts of 42 local authorities (255.3 million), tax returns (234.1 million) and previous years’ debts to pharmacists (164 million).

Nearing completion is the process of repaying 45 million euros for university debts, 185 million for obligations of the Army Pensions Fund and military hospitals, 233.4 million for more tax returns, and 357.7 million to the consortium responsible for the construction and operation of Egnatia Odos, the national highway across northern Greece.